Description of the Project
The project aims to build a Polycentric Infrastructure for operational modelling applied to Maritime Security, which requires the knowledge of the weather conditions, wave climate and surface currents. This infrastructure will provide services to navigation, to rescue agencies - in case of accident – and for coastal management, including protection of shore infrastructures and bathing water quality forecasting. The existence of such a system is also important for early warning in case of a tsunami, which is especially important in the SW coast of Iberia. The main component of the system is a set of models that are complemented by an Ocean Observing System (OOS) and end-user interfaces with bidirectional communication capacities.
The modelling system includes meteorological models, wave generation and propagation models, a General Ocean Circulation Model (GCM) and a system of local models coupled to the GCM by an intermediate regional model. The GCM will provide open boundary conditions for the regional model and will simulate the flow in the whole North Atlantic, accounting for the contribution of the general circulation for the local flow in the North East Atlantic.
The technology necessary for building such a system is already available in the countries of the Atlantic Arc, but is spread for various countries and institutions. The Polycentric Infrastructure proposed in this project will combine those technologies creating added value. The Mercator Ocean is running a model for the whole world forecasting the circulation - currents, levels, temperature and salinity - and assimilating field data - levels and temperatures- every week. MOHID model has been applied off the Iberian coast forced by results of Mercator and by results of the Meteorological model run by MeteoGalicia for producing results at regional and local scales. In order to add value, INTECMAR will use the local models in real cases, pointing out the needs and lacks as well the improvements and success.
In this project an operational system will be setup and demonstrated, downscaling the results of the GCM (i) for the Tagus Estuary and for the beaches of Costa do Estoril, West of Lisbon (ii) for the Ria de Vigo, in Galicia and for the flow in the region of Azores Archipelago.
In this process Regional circulation models will be nested in the GCM and Local Circulation Models (LCM) will be nested in the Regional model, refining the solution up to resolutions of tens of meters, for fulfilling the local end-users requirements. Management of Bathing Water zones and the protection of the aquiculture resources from small spills of pollutants are typical cases requiring a fine grid.
A human and logistic infrastructure will be set up in each country, able to produce and disseminate results on a routine basis, but also able to receive online demands and produce results. This will be useful in case of accidents involving ships and advection of HABs, after the early detectetion but also in case of a less probable but more serious case of a tsunami. For disseminating the routine results a database will be built assessable through the web. For the case of accidents, a bidirectional tool already developed in the framework of the project Erocips will be included in the web page. Using this tool, a user can use the web page for starting a simulation, e.g. the displacement of a container identified in the sea or oil spill dispersion.
The results of the system will be validated using Ocean Observing data, both historical and online data. Historical data will be used for hindcast simulations during the setting up of the system and online data will be used for assessing the accuracy of the results published in the web. Data will be provided by national authorities, by the consortium and by GOOS (Global Ocean Observing System). Wave models are a sub-product of this system. The basic data that they require is the same as for the GCM and they have small computing requirements.
The project will have two phases. The first phase, to be funded by INTERREG is a demonstration phase. The main goal is to setup the infrastructure and to demonstrate that it works. The second phase is the exploitation phase and will be funded by the end-users to be recruited within: (1) the entities responsible for combating marine pollution, (2) the entities responsible for rescuing people and object in the sea, (3) Bathing zones management, (4) Waste water systems discharging in the sea, (5) entities responsible for monitoring of transitional and coastal waters, (6) navigation companies, (7) tsunami warning, security systems (8) scientific community and (9) entities responsible for sanitary guarantees of marine resources destined to human consumption.
The implementation phase will involve some of the end-users and some of them contributing financially for the project. This is very important for guaranteeing that the products of the project will fulfil their needs, but also for assuring the viability of the exploitation phase.
Data for validating the results will be provided by local Ocean Observing Systems, by GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Program) and by GOOS (Global Ocean Observing System). End-users are in general among the main local data generators (sometimes via outsourcing contracts) and are expected to have the most interesting data sets for validating the local scale. The access to the data is another advantage of involving end-users since the implementation phase.